Interesting Facts About the ScannerMRI Room Floor PreparationMRI scanners use magnets and radio waves to generate images of the body. The magnet is verysensitive to any metal in its vicinity. Consequently, preparation of the MRI scanner room entailscreating a floor base for the scanner that is free from all metal. The only way to ensure this is to dig outthe existing floor (to a depth of two feet) and re-fill it with “clean” dirt. The debris-free dirt iscompressed and covered with concrete to provide a level surface for the scanner.MRI ShieldingDue to the strong magnetic field created by MRI scanners, they require protective shields to protectboth the scanner and the surrounding area.An RF (radio frequency) shield must be used around the MRI scanner to block out specific radio wavesthat may distort the images created by the MRI. The RF shielding must create a complete box aroundthe scanner, including walls, the ceiling and floor. It can be made of almost any metal, but the mostcommon types are copper, galvanized steel and aluminum.Magnetic shielding must also surround the MRI scanner. This shield prevents the magnetic field createdby the scanner from interfering with surrounding areas. It needs to be strategically placed to contain themagnetic field so that people (i.e. employees, patients, maintenance staff) cannot unknowingly passthrough it.MRI Scanner Cooling SystemThe key to the efficiency and ability of any magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is the hugesuperconducting magnet within the MRI’s outer ring. To reach maximum performance, these magnetsmust be cooled down to -2 to -600 degrees celsius. Liquid helium is commonly used as a refrigerant toaccomplish this. In order to maintain the liquid helium cooling system, a water-cooled gradientcompressor needs to be used. The chiller is installed and functional prior to the delivery of the magnetand installation.
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